The 16th annual Trails and Trilliums festival, the spring fundraiser for the Friends of South Cumberland State Park and a multi-day celebration of spring, features a record number of expertly-guided hikes on the most scenic trails in and around South Cumberland State Park. The April 12-14 festival, presented this year by Lodge Cast Iron, also offers a full slate of nature-themed speakers and workshops, an expanded native plant sale, free family-oriented activities for the kids, plus evening fundraiser events on both Friday and Saturday.
Capacity is limited on most hikes, talks and workshops. Reserve your place at any of these events by registering at TrailsAndTrilliums.org.
Expertly-guided hikes, to locations in and around the South Cumberland State Park, leave from the DuBose Conference Center on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This year, Trails and Trilliums features a record 26 unique guided hikes, both long and short, rated from easy to strenuous, and led by some of the region’s most expert guides. The hike lineup includes adventures focusing on wildflowers, salamanders and snakes, Civilian Conservation Corps history, birds, nature photography, geology, and much more. Hikes will take you to many amazing and beautiful places, including Denny Cove, Foster Falls, Fiery Gizzard, Grundy Forest, Sherwood Forest, Sewanee Natural Bridge, Shakerag Hollow, and other spectacular springtime locations.
The expanded Native Plant Sale, Programs, Workshops, Food & Music are at the DuBose Conference Center (times vary; see full schedule at <TrailsAndTrilliums.org>).
Friday’s 5:30-7 p.m. Wine & Wildflowers celebration and fundraiser is at the Monteagle Inn, and is generously sponsored by Tower Community Bank. This features the presentation of the Trails and Trilliums Tribute Award.
Saturday’s free 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Children’s Activities are at the South Cumberland State Park Visitor Center, with thanks to sponsors Doug Ferris and John Canale.
Saturday evening’s Trail Weekend Hootenanny fundraiser is at Baggenstoss Farms in Tracy City, starting at 4 p.m. This is presented by the Friends of South Cumberland and the Mountain Goat Trail Alliance to raise funds for a new paved connector between the Mountain Goat Trail and the South Cumberland State Park Visitor Center. The Baggenstoss Farms is off of Clouse Hill Road in Tracy City.
Trails and Trilliums has 16 talks and workshops (Friday, Saturday, Sunday at the DuBose Conference Center) on topics ranging from nature journaling to birding, edible plants, watercolor, fairy houses, and more. Highlights of the talk and workshop schedule include:
Keynote Address by author and naturalist Stephen Bales, noon on Saturday;
Cumberland Wild Panel: “Free Play/Nature Play,” 1 p.m., Saturday, free admission;
Tennessee Naturalist Panel: “Would you like to be a Tennessee Naturalist?,” at 2 p.m., Saturday, free admission;
Mary Priestley introduces her newest book, “Sewanee Wildflowers in Watercolor”; talk and book signings at 11 a.m., Saturday and noon, Sunday, free admission.
This year, Trails and Trilliums also celebrates the grand opening of two new areas of South Cumberland State Park: the new Nature Play area, on the Meadow Trail at the park’s Visitor Center and the new Interpretive Trail at the site of the 1930s-era Civilian Conservation Corps camp in Grundy Forest.
For more information and to register go to <TrailsAndTrilliums.org>.